Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me (Psalm 66:16 NLT).
Friend to Friend
I was 16 years old and about 100 pounds soaking wet.
My friend’s dad, Mr. Evans, gathered up a few of us teenagers and drove us to a church just outside my hometown. We were going to give our testimonies at a Saturday night gathering of strangers. I’d never stood behind a podium, spoken into a mic, or stared at a sea of faces thinking I had something to say.
When my name was called, I walked up the stage steps, took a deep breath, and told all those staring eyes about how Jesus plucked me out of a home filled with alcohol abuse and violence, and about parents who fought all the time, and about hiding in the closet. I also told them about the woman who introduced me to Jesus and how I accepted Him as my Savior when I was fourteen. I told them how Jesus was making me not so afraid anymore, and how I was praying for my parents to know Jesus too.
Was I eloquent? No. Did I quote Scripture? No. Were there tears? Yes. Was it impactful? Yes.
There wasn’t much room left at the front of the sanctuary when Mr. Evans gave the altar call that night.
And so it began…me learning just how important stories are.
I didn’t know this verse then, but I know it now: “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me” (Psalm 66:16 NLT).
Every redemptive story, like a raw seed, cannot realize its potential until it is planted in the heart of another human being. And a plant born of a seed will become a plant that bears more seeds. Make no mistake about it. Your story matters. Don’t be afraid to tell it!
Know this: The devil doesn’t want you to tell your story of what God has done in your life. He wants you to keep it bottled up and hidden away in the back of the pantry where no one can find it. He doesn’t want you to tell how you traded in your anger and resentment for God’s grace and forgiveness. How you traded in your feelings of condemnation and self-loathing for freedom and a new beginning. How you traded in your broken pieces for a beautiful masterpiece.
Don’t do it, he whispers. They won’t like you. They’ll think badly of you. They’ll reject you. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. As long as nobody knows, you’ll be accepted.
But here’s the truth: If you listen to the wrong voice, you will make the wrong choice. The devil will do everything he can to keep you silent. He knows that your willingness to place your story in God’s holy hands will lead to full redemption, where, in the words of Beth Moore, “the pain is treated and turned around so thoroughly that it not only loses its power to do you harm but also gains the power to do some good.”
When I first felt God calling me to share with others how He had redeemed my past, I argued just a bit. “But God,” I cried, “There are some things about my life I don’t want to tell.” And then I sensed Him saying, Would you rather people think well of you, or of Me?
At that point, I had a decision to make, and I’ve never regretted the transparency He’s called me to. It could very well be that my mess could be the message that ushers in the miracle in someone else’s life. If I refuse to speak up, God will choose someone else who will, and I will miss the blessing.
So, don’t hide your story. Own it! Tell it! Rejoice in it! Realize that no matter what has happened in your life, your lows, your disappointments, and your struggles can be the most compelling parts of your story. People will rally around you, and you will find love and connection in the process. If you are willing, your wounds can become the source of your greatest strengths.
God may not be calling you to tell your story in an auditorium full of strangers, but He is calling you to tell your story to someone. Look for that person you can trust with your heart—someone with whom you can feel totally exposed and completely loved at the same time. Then take the first step and tell your story.
Father, thank You for giving me a new ending to my story. I pray You will give me opportunities to tell others what You’ve done for me, and that I won’t hold anything back.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let’s Keep in Touch
June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you know someone who needs to hear your story? God does. Ask Him to show you who that person is.
Have you ever told your story? Start by telling three statements: This is who I was. This is what Jesus did for me. This is who I am now. Click on comment and share your three statements.
More from the Girlfriends
Your story matters, and someone needs to hear it. But are you ready? Has the healing happened? If you know you have a story to tell but not sure where to begin, this book is for you. When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories.
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© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.